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Cloud gaming will replace home consoles "someday", Microsoft has suggested, saying that the firm is "clearly invested [in] cloud distribution of content".

"Someday, yes, someday," replied Microsoft Game Studios head Phil Spencer when asked by whether the cloud will one day negate the need for home consoles by streaming game content directly to consumers' TVs.

"Cloud is a huge opportunity. But if you look at the internet capabilities today, it's a challenge.

"Even, forget about games. If you said everybody was going to watch the Champions League Final concurrently via the internet at HD-level quality, the internet can't handle that. And that's just people watching a [soccer] game. That doesn't include the level of interactivity of a game and a two-way pipe going back and forth. So there's just bandwidth issues in terms of metering and things that are out there.

"So I believe, yes, in the long run we'll land in a spot where there's cloud distribution of all content and Microsoft is clearly invested in that."

But could Microsoft's next-generation Xbox be built solely around cloud-based gaming? Judging by Spencer's comments, probably not.

"I like the work that Gaikai does, I play games on Gaikai, and if I get the right bandwidth situation they're actually good experiences. But today it's not really up to scale.

"You're still going to be pushing boxes out to people's houses that they're going to plug into the TV. That's what they're going to use to play their AAA games. And I think that'll be the case for a while."

Microsoft has yet to announce plans for its next-generation console despite reports that numerous developers are already developing titles for it.

Rumours earlier this year also suggested that the next Xbox, codenamed 'Durango', had already entered manufacturing.

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guyderman's Avatar


I was a hoarder of CD's DVD's Comic Books, Games etc. and swore that digital was never the way for me - now all my music is on HDD with Cd's stored in the loft, All my Comic books are on my PC with originals stored in the loft, DVD's I still use as I can't be bothered to upload them all, and the more and more digital games I have obtained over the past year the more and more I like just having a list of games to play on my consoles and handhelds - the only thing currently stoppoing me from embracing it fully is the ridiculous prices for most new releases. Playstation plus over the last year has really helped my attuitude change towards physical media and I'd be happy with a dearer subscription service that allows me to play new releases similar to the rental system I already use through Lovefilm - obviosly still keep physical media for thos who want it but I really think they should start looking at the prices a bit more seriously for an 'x' amount of games per month subsciption service similar to PS plus for new releases.
Posted 14:31 on 07 June 2012
munkee's Avatar


See, this is a weird one. I also love physical media, but practicality is taking over my lifestyle.

I have boxes of CD's.. But, these days buy all my music digitally and store it on HDD's.

I have shelves of DVD's.. But, have now ripped them to HDD's and would happily get rid of the DVD's.

I have a lot of video games.. Now i'm not so sure about cloud, but when their value decreases and if I could store my games collections on HDD's, then I think I probably would.

Lots of people now are shifting on to Spotify and Netflix (or whatever the hot services are) and I think cloud gaming is incoming in a big way. Owning physical media is a lot cooler. But, I think a lot of people are realising that it's unnecessary.

Not only that, but a lot of physical media has stopped being cool and is becoming less attractive. It's a generic box with a generic disk and no book. It's likely that only the Special Edition crowd will really miss physical media in the future. But for me, an average consumer, I think I'll shift when the time is right.
Posted 14:06 on 07 June 2012
dav2612's Avatar

dav2612@ Clockpunk

Completely agree with the comment about physical media.
Posted 13:38 on 07 June 2012
Clockpunk's Avatar


It seems as though publishers will keenly adopt any approach that keeps game code directly out of the hands of its purchasers - peddling licenses, while keeping the actual work 'safely tucked away'.


My fondness for physical copies hasn't diminished after 20 years, nor do I see it doing see in another 20.
Posted 13:06 on 07 June 2012
Woffls's Avatar


"Cloud gaming" will eventually be how all of us play games, but by then it will be called something else because really it's just hosting.

When it takes the same amount of time for my button press to go to a server, get processed, and then the game rendered and compressed and sent back to me as it does for a console in my living room to respond, then it's the end of consoles. Until then, it's just not going to catch on.
Posted 13:02 on 07 June 2012
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